What’s more important, being champions of England or being champions of Europe? Well the way things are shaping up Manchester City and Liverpool fans are going to be squabbling about that one all summer, but I wonder what their respective managers think?
Both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp let pettiness get the better of them this week. Summoning the spirit of Jose Mourinho, they mocked each other’s shortcomings.
Guardiola was first to get the claws out: "Liverpool has an incredible history behind in European competition – not in the Premier League, because they’ve won one in 30 years – but it’s not a problem at all." Meow.
Klopp swiped back on Monday, saying: "After getting knocked out of the Champions League, that’s already difficult to take but then of course Liverpool made it to the final."
Sifting through all the sludge one thing is abundantly clear – both managers would give an arm and a leg to be where the other is right now, even if they’d never admit it. Together they’ve built two of the greatest sides to ever grace the English top flight, but in order to leave genuinely untouchable legacies, they need to borrow from one another.
Guardiola’s side are on the verge of winning their fourth Premier League title in five seasons – an undeniably impressive achievement. But such domestic dominance only accentuates their continental failings. The Spaniard may know how to build the perfect league-winning side, but evidence suggests that when up against the very best that Europe has to offer, he falls short (unless he has Lionel Messi in his team).
Who has had a more successful career in English football – Guardiola or Klopp? Let us know what you think in the comments section below
His City team is like a constrictor snake – intricately designed and brilliantly equipped to suffocate smaller prey, but does beating the weaker teams more consistently than your rivals make you best?
By contrast, Klopp's Liverpool team is a viper. Aggressive, intimidating, but also open to vulnerability. Perhaps this explains why – over the course of any given season – the Reds tend to drop more points than City, but have a better record in Europe.
Though just like Guardiola, Klopp's legacy will have a dent in it if he doesn't bolsters his trophy cabinet, after all, one Premier League title in six full seasons is an underwhelming return, especially given how strong Liverpool have been for half-a-decade.
Last month, the country was complaining that City and Liverpool didn't hate each other enough, but theirs is a rivalry built on mutual respect and admiration, rather than callousness.
Guardiola wants to be a bit more like Klopp, and Klopp wants to be a bit more like Guardiola, and if they can actually learn from one another then their problems would be solved.
So the two can trade catty barbs all they like, but they're not fooling anyone. If you offered them the chance to swap places, they'd do it in a heartbeat.
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